Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Comments From Behind the Fence - 1


There's been a lot of questions these past few months. The more personal ones I will answer in direct correspondence. My address is available for just that reason. For (hopefully) obvious reasons, I'm not going to discuss the specifics of my case here with anybody. Although, I will set one particularly viscous and blatant lie straight. Yes, this company - May December Publications - is named after the birth months of my three children; Ronni, Cody and Alexander. None of them play ANY part in my case.

One of the most common questions by the curious has been: What have you done for the last twelve years? That is the one I will address here.

When I arrived at prison I did a lot of soul-searching those first few days. It took a while to get a grip on where I was, I wont pretend otherwise. You get a lot of time with your thoughts in this environment.l The reality of it took a few days to sink in, but I remember the exact moment it happened. An inmate threw a half-gallon pitcher of feces, baby oil and urine on the tier's unit officer. I never in my life had witnessed anything like it.

A short time later, I enrolled in a cognitive skills program. A lot of people hate these programs in here because they force you to look inwards and see where you've been going wrong. The first eye-opener was during a block about communication in a healthy relationship. I found out that I was a bonafide asshole. I was the guy who NEVER said "I'm sorry." And that was the least of my deficiencies.

Upon graduation I was offered my first prison job as a facilitator in the Cognitive Skills Program. For almost the next two years I was immersed in Pathfinders, Breaking Barriers, and Cognitive Skills I, II, and III. During that time I came up with my Groundhog's Day theory:

Prison is a lot like the movie, Groundhog's Day. It is the same thing day in and day out. The same faces, conversations, meals. Nothing seems to change. You can fight it and gain nothing, or make the conscious choice to put your time to good use. I set two goals: get my Associates Degree and have three books written and ready for submission by my release date.

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